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Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China in Bid to Become the Next Big Thing

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Posted on Jun 13, 2010
Flickr / MichalFoto (CC-BY-ND)

By John Feffer

(Page 3)

Zero Problems?

Throughout the twentieth century, geography had proved a liability for Turkey. It found itself beset on all sides by former Ottoman lands which held grudges against the successor state. The magic trick the AKP performed was to transform this liability into an asset. Turkey in the twenty-first century turned on the charm. Like China, it discovered the advantages of soft power and the inescapable virtues of a “soft rise” during an era of American military and economic dominance.

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Led by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a former academic who provided a blueprint for the country’s new good-neighbor policy in his 2001 book Strategic Depth, Turkey pledged “zero problems with neighbors.” In foreign policy terminology, Davutoglu proposed the carving out of a Turkish sphere of influence via canny balance-of-power politics. Like China, it promised not to interfere in the domestic affairs of its partners. It also made a major effort to repair relations with those near at hand and struck new friendships with those far away. Indeed, like Beijing, Ankara has global aspirations.

Perhaps the most dramatic reversal in Turkish policy involves the Kurdish region of Iraq. The détente orchestrated by the AKP could be compared to President Richard Nixon’s startling policy of rapprochement with China in the 1970s, which rapidly turned an enemy into something like an ally. In March, Turkey sent its first diplomat to Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, to staff a new consulate there. Today, as journalist Jonathan Head has written, “70% of investment and 80% of the products sold in the Kurdish region [of Iraq] are Turkish.” Realizing that when U.S. troops leave Iraq, its Kurdish regions are bound to feel vulnerable and thus open to economic and political influence, Ankara established a “strategic cooperation council” to sort things out with the Iraqis in 2009, and this has served as a model for similar arrangements with Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia.

Détente with Iraqi Kurdistan has gone hand in hand with a relaxation of tensions between Ankara and its own Kurdish population with which it had been warring for decades. Until the early 1990s, the Turkish government pretended that the Kurdish language didn’t exist. Now, there is a new 24-hour Kurdish-language national TV station, and new faculty at Mardin Artuklu University will teach Kurdish. The government began to accept returning Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq, as well as a handful of Kurdish guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

This hasn’t been an easy sell for Turkish nationalists. In December, a Turkish court banned the main Kurdish political party, and this spring the military launched repeated attacks against PKK targets inside Iraq. But the AKP is continuing to push reforms, including proposed changes in the country’s constitution that would allow military commanders for the first time to be tried in civilian court for any crimes they commit.

The elimination of this demonizing of “internal enemies” is crucial to the AKP’s project, helping as it does to reduce the military’s power in internal affairs.  Reining in the military is a top objective for party leaders who believe it will strengthen political stability, improve prospects for future integration into the European Union (EU), and remove a powerful opponent to domestic reforms—and to the party itself.

Only a little less startling than the government’s gestures toward the Kurds has been its program to transform Turkish-Greek relations. The two countries have long been at each other’s throats, their conflict over the divided island of Cyprus being only the most visible of their disagreements. The current Greek economic crisis, however, may prove a blessing in disguise when it comes to bilateral relations.

The Greek government—its finances disastrous and economic pressure from the European Union mounting—needs a way to make military budget reductions defensible. In May, Turkish president Erdogan visited Greece and, while signing 21 agreements on migration, environment, culture, and the like, began to explore the previously inconceivable possibility of mutual military reductions. “Both countries have huge defense expenses,” Erdogan told Greek television, “and they will achieve a lot of savings this way.”

If Turkey manages a rapprochement with Armenia, it will achieve a diplomatic trifecta. The two countries disagree over the fate of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, which is also at the center of a dispute between Armenia and Turkish ally Azerbaijan. Complicating this territorial issue is a long-standing historical controversy. Armenia wants acknowledgement of the Ottoman Empire’s 1915 extermination campaign that killed more than a million Armenians. The Turkish government today disputes the numbers and refuses to recognize the killings as “genocide.” Nevertheless, Turkey and Armenia began direct negotiations last year to reopen their border and establish diplomatic relations. Although officially stalled, secret talks between the two are continuing.

Other diplomatic efforts are no less dramatic. When Bashar Assad arrived in Ankara in 2004, it was the first visit by a Syrian leader in 57 years. Meanwhile, Turkey has cemented its relations with Russia, remains close to Iran, and has reconnected to the Balkans. This charm offensive makes Chinese efforts in Asia look bumbling.


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By Shingo, June 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

“The nuclear power that all of those Muslim shitholes desire is Western technology; the
harvesting of their natural resources is possible because of Western technology,
expertise, and technicians. And much more than a little of that technology and
expertise is AMERICAN!”

Again this is demonstrably false.

The Soviets developed nuclear technology in lock step with the US, proving yet again
the technology is not a Western concept.

Report this

By Shingo, June 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

By nemesis2010, June 15 at 3:56 pm

“The U.S. of A. was founded on enlightenment and that’s why much older and much more religious nations and peoples remain in their regressive shitholes while in less than 200 years the U.S. became the most powerful empire that this earth has ever seen.”

Ironically, the US became a superpower by abandoning pretty much all of it’s founding principals.  The Soviet Union was a superpower and so will China be, of not already.  Neither became one through any enlightenment.
Most of America’s power came thought colonialism, and through the threat posed by it’s military.  Most of America’s financial muscle was a consequence of it’s military capacity.

“The nuclear power that all of those Muslim shitholes desire is Western technology; the harvesting of their natural resources is possible because of Western technology, expertise, and technicians.”

False.  Most of that technology was already in existence during the British Empire.  Americans did innovate, but largely used existing processes that have been also perfected, and indeed exceeded by the Russians.

“Knowing this probably eats away at you and I’ll have to confess to more than a little schadenfreude.”

Not in the least.  Your theory is so easily debunked by the simple fact that if enlightenment is what’s necessary to create a superpower, how does that explain why superpower inevitably fall.

And what must surely eat away at your Islamophobic bones is the realisation that the US’s days as a superpower are fast coming to an end.

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By truedigger3, June 15, 2010 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

It is the same bullshitting repeated, over and over.
Turkey cannot and will not become a superpower.
Its only “misdeed” was that it crossed Israel by sponsering the peace flotilla to Gaza, so now turkey is a threat to the world and may be, just in case, the ground has to be prepaed for a “regime change”!.
So now they start talking about the Turkish danger and WMD. Is that ring a bell?!. Didn’t we hear that trite record before?!.

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By Ed Harges, June 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

re:By nemesis2010, June 15 at 3:59 pm:

I only said that Turkey had “moved somewhat away from its secular ideals”; but it
hasn’t yet lost its separation of religion and state, becoming what most people
understand as an “Islamic country”. It’s demographically mostly Muslim ,of
course, as it has always been.

The United States is in the same position. It has “moved somewhat away from its
secular ideals”, but it hasn’t yet lost its separation of religion and state, even
though it’s demographically mostly Christian, as it has always been.

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By nemesis2010, June 15, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, June 15 at 10:19 am

“ And Nemesis: you play fast and loose with the term “Islamic country”.
Turkey, unlike Israel, has a constitutional separation of religion
and state. If Turkey has in recent years moved somewhat away from its secular ideals,
perhaps that’s because its alliance with semi-theocratic, ethnocentric Israel has
proven a harmful example.”

Do you see what you’ve done here? You criticize me about being fast and loose then indirectly admit that Turkey has moved away from secularism and toward theocracy. Would you not agree that this has to be classified as a DUH! moment in your life?

We are not always praising Israel. AIPAC and the Jew controlled federal government and the Reich-wing Christian evangelicals are always praising Israel. Relax because those Evangelicals are going to give Israel and the Jews their comeuppance as soon as they begin to pay the price for their blind allegiance to Jews. Their eschatological beliefs say that only a very few thousands of Jews will survive. Israel has whored itself and is in bed with the very people that would look at an attempt to annihilate them as god’s will as prophesized in the Book of the Revelation.

The main source of anti-Jewish sentiment for the past 2,000 years is the New Testament, which was written by Jew hating Jews!

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By nemesis2010, June 15, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

By Shingo, June 15 at 7:31 am

“Well the US must be an exceptino to the rule, because Americans are among the most ignorant people on earth.”

I could say that anyone with a screen name Shingo is a G.W. Bush loving, Cheney ass-kissing, log cabin republican but just saying it doesn’t make it true, does it?

The American populace is definitely suffering through a 40-50 year dumbing down. Ironically, it appears that the more fundamentally religious the nation becomes the dumber the people become. That’s precisely why I can say that no Islamic nation will ever become a super-power. Ignorance is directly correlated to religious belief; the more fanatical and tenacious the belief system, the more ignorant the populace.

Life is not a level road that we simply travel along. Life is a series of mountains and valleys. If you prefer another allegory, life is a series of a few steps forward and one or two back. The U.S.—in many ways—is currently traversing one of those valleys or taking a few steps back but it will probably survive this current set back once the religious have their desired blood-bath and are forced to deal with reality.

The U.S. of A. was founded on enlightenment and that’s why much older and much more religious nations and peoples remain in their regressive shitholes while in less than 200 years the U.S. became the most powerful empire that this earth has ever seen. The nuclear power that all of those Muslim shitholes desire is Western technology; the harvesting of their natural resources is possible because of Western technology, expertise, and technicians. And much more than a little of that technology and expertise is AMERICAN!

Knowing this probably eats away at you and I’ll have to confess to more than a little schadenfreude. smile

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By Ed Harges, June 15, 2010 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

re:By Samson, June 15 at 3:23 pm:

Samson: the main points of Turkish policy you extract from the article are the very
definition of a boringly, blessedly rational foreign policy.

It’s amazing that even the Christian Science Monitor, which is certainly far from
the worst offender when it comes to US journalistic genuflection to Israel, portrays
Turkey as an “over the top” fomenter of “anti-Semitism”.

It embarrasses me that Erdogan’s officially Islamic party is actually more secular
and less fanatical than our own nominally secular Democratic and Republican
parties, which demonstrate a feverishly primitive religious devotion to Israel that
trumps all rational concerns.

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By nemesis2010, June 15, 2010 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

By Marshall, June 14 at 11:05 pm

“By nemesis2010, June 14 at 4:56 pm #
Odd that in the first two paragraphs you argue that unenlightened islam and superpower are mutually exclusive, then argue for Iran getting the bomb because enlightened US has it.  Can you say “fundamental contradiction”?

Can you say: “Marshall he be kneed sum reeden compruhenshun?”

Where did I argue for Iran to get a bomb? Are you aware that Pakistan is both a Muslim nation and has nuclear capabilities? Having a nuclear bomb, or even a few of them, does not make one a super-power. Would you argue that North Korea is a super-power?

By PatrickHenry, June 14 at 8:04 pm

“The U.S. needs to step up and reaffirm our military treaty with Turkey against Israel, which unbelievably, we don’t have one.”

That’s because in order to have a treaty with a nation it has to have defined borders. The Jews believe—because of their little book of myths—that they are entitled to all of Palestine. Israel has no plans of ever complying with the U.N. mandates and will forever be a rogue nation because of it.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

[Samson, you mean ‘demonization’, ‘not demonetization’, right?]

yes smile

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

We spend massive amounts of our national treasure in the world wide struggle against communism.  We claim victory in that struggle.  But the basic human desire for change only morphed into opposition religious parties. 

Now we spend even greater amounts of the national treasure in a world wide war against them.  Not learning the lesson that this is also doomed to fail.

MLK tried to tell us in his Riverside Church speech that we were backing the wrong side in this worldwide revolution.  We still are.  Because we are opposing the natural human desires to live a better life.

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By Ed Harges, June 15, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

[Samson, you mean ‘demonization’, ‘not demonetization’, right?]

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

There’s another historical trend to notice here.  How the constant attack of the Turkish military and police on the left in the country instead resulted in the rise of a religiously-based opposition.

This is a constant story of this US policy of having the CIA attack anything regarded as ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ around the world.  Throughout the Islamic world, this has led to the rise of Islamic political parties.

The drive and desire for change was not crushed when the left was attacked.  Instead, it only flowed into a different channel.  Now the same US decries the existence of all of these Islamic religious parties,and is at war around the world seeking to crush them.

We are spending our national treasure on this vast project.  And it is of course futile because the lesson to be learned is that even if we succeed this same desire for change will only flow into some other channel that we can’t see today.  The lesson of the 20th century is that this can not be crushed by police and military power and brutality.  It always survives. 

And by surviving, it eventually wins.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Fascinating article if you read all of it.  Most fascinating is that what Turkey is doing is what many on this board would like to see as American policy.  In fact, its probably what many who voted for Obama believed they were voting for.


—foreign policy using ‘soft power’.
—a policy of ‘no problems with neighbors’
—a pledge to stay out of the internal affairs of partners.
—a change in the constitution to have military commanders tried in civilian courts for crimes they commit.
—the elimination of a policy of the ‘demonetization of internal enemies’.

That’s a platform that many would support for America.  Turkey is demonized for it.  China for a similar foreign policy.  Not really surprising, because the left in America that supports a similar platform is constantly attacked and demonized for this as well.

But, notice in the history how this tide has swelled over the years. The military and the dictators have tried to stop it, but they have failed.

Never believe that we are defeated.

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By Ed Harges, June 15, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Sodium-Na writes:

“As long as the United States keeps defending Israel
whether Israel is right or wrong in its international behaviors,
America will continue to pay the price in dilution of its influence
in the Arab and Muslim world, while Turkey, Syria, and Iran are
picking up the pieces.”

Yes, indeed, Sodium. And this is so obvious that it soundly refutes those pro-
Israel American liberals - including many who are critical of the US and Israel -
who claim that US support for Israel is based on American interests, or even
that Israel’s most outrageous aggressions are secretly initiated by the US for its
own interests, such as access to oil. In fact, US support for Israel is not just
useless to the material interests of the United States; it is directly and obviously
contrary to those interests, including oil interests.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

to ofersince72 .....

The people of America did try one attempt to restrain this government in 2006 and 2008.  Unfortunately, the Democrats used this to put themselves into power instead.

If you look back at the Democrat propaganda of the last decade, one sees a strong attempt to pin all the blame on Bush for US policies.  This of course ignored the Democrats in Congress who went along in all cases (how many times did the Dems filibuster Bush?)

The voters bought the Democrat propaganda that said that Bush and the Republicans were the problem, and as you said, voted in both 2006 and 2008 for a change away from these policies.

That has obviously failed.  The Democrats only wanted the power in their hands.

There is still one move left for the American people who want change.  That is to move away from both the Democrats and Republicans into a third party.  We now know for certain that neither the Democrats or Republicans are the answer.

2010 and 2012 need to be the years when the people who oppose this constant Bush-Obama policy strongly move and support a third party.

And that means getting involved.  A third party can’t be about just sitting at home watching TV and then deciding to vote Nader on election day.  A third party has to be a grassroots party, and that has to mean that every one of us has to be more involved in politics on a regular basis.  We need to volunteer.  We need to make phone calls.  We need to knock on neighbors doors.

We need to organize.  That’s what’s left.  The corporate parties on the tv set haven’t given us an easy answer.  No surprise there.  Instead, we have to build our own from the ground up.  No surprise there either.

We need to organize.  We need to start today.  Start with your own neighborhood.  Start knocking on some doors and organize a meeting.

Our political choices did not end with the option of putting the Dems into power.  And now its time to remind them that it was our votes that put them into power.  The best way to do that is to take our votes back and use them on our own candidates who believe in the same better world that we believe in.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

“One does not become a super-power from ignorance”
??????

Becoming a super-power seems to involve a lot of application of brute force.  The classic path towards super-power-dom is just to brutally attack everyone around you until the rest are intimidated into submission.

America has this self-believe that its somehow American brains and enlightenment that made America a super-power.  That may have been true right after world war ii.

But the key fact to note is that America has been driven further and further on the path towards ignorance and away from enlightenment as its become more and more the world’s dominant bullying and intimidating super-power.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

The US doesn’t ‘kiss-up’ to NATO. The US has been struggling mightily to keep NATO going long after any natural life it had expired with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The more interesting question is how long will Europe be willing to put up with a US led and dominated European alliance.

And Turkey can put some very interesting pressure points on this situation.  Especially if as they threaten the next aid convoy has a Turkish military convoy.  The cornerstone of the alliance is that it is a defensive alliance where the other nations pledge to come to the aid of another if attacked.

So, what happens if Israel attacked a Turkish warship?  The US would certainly back Israel.  But would the rest of NATO?  Especially the countries with the large Turkish ex-pat communities?

Turkey is being very restrained at this point, because an attack on a merchant ship carrying a countries flag is regarded as an act of war.

Israel usually kicks around disorganized and poorly trained militaries like Egypt and Syria.  A NATO equiped and trained Turkish military is a whole different matter.  Turkey is probably the one country in the region that’s only wary, but not fearful of Israeli military power.

Turkey’s next actions will be fascinating, especially if they escort in the next convoy.  Turkey won’t be quaking about a confrontation with Israel like the other Arab countries, and if there is a clash, there’s a chance they could successfully appeal to some of the European nations to come join them.

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By Samson, June 15, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

The usual suspects are taking their usual action towards anyone who challenges US power or the right for the US to do whatever it chooses.  In this case, the US uses this self-perceived right to pass the same protection along to Israel.

This is a common trend around the world.  Any country that dares to challenge US policy anywhere and in any way is attacked in such a fashion.

The interesting fact is that despite these attempts at bullying and intimidation, more and more countries are willing to do this.  Most of South America seems more and more willing to do this, and as this article reminds, Turkey is no minor little country.

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By Sodium-Na, June 15, 2010 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Whether Israel and its detrimental lobby in Washington DC like or not,the equilibrium of powers in the Middle East has shifted drastically in favor of Turkey,Syria and Iran,with dilution of the U.S.influence among the Arab countries as expressed by the Kuwaiti Parliament lately,demanding from its own Kuwaiti government to withdraw its signature from the Arab Peace Proposal of 2002 sighned in Beirut,Lebanon by all member-states of the Arab League.

It is well known that Kuwait has been considered one of the most stunchest ally of the U.S.in the Arab world because the U.S.in 1991 went to war against Saddam Hussein’s invasion and six months occupation of Kuwait and forced his army to withdraw from Kuwait and helped Kuwait’s Emir to return to Kuwait and rule it all over again with the members of his Sabah clan.

If that is what is being happening in Kuwait,one can extrapolate in the rest of the Arab world where the popularity of once friendly country like Jordan drops from 60% to less than 10%,and so on in the other countries of the Arab world.

As long as the United States keeps defending Israel whether Israel is right or wrong in its international behaviors,America will continue to pay the price in dilution of its influence in the Arab and Muslim world,while Turkey,Syria and Iran are picking-up the pieces.

The shift in eqilibrium is so drastic,neither the U.S. nor Israel could do anything about it.

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By Ed Harges, June 15, 2010 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

More power to the Turks. We badly need a counterweight to
the United States and its foreign-policy master, Israel.

And Nemesis: you play fast and loose with the term “Islamic country”.
Turkey, unlike Israel, has a constitutional separation of religion
and state.

If Turkey has in recent years moved somewhat away from its secular ideals,
perhaps that’s because its alliance with semi-theocratic, ethnocentric Israel has
proven a harmful example.

If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

The same thing is happening in the US. American religious fanatics who would
like to see the US reconstituted as an officially “Christian nation” readily point to
Israel as the guiding example. We’re always praising Israel, with its blatant
religious/ethnic favoritism, as a paragon of democracy. If Israel’s such a
paragon, why can’t we do likewise?

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By Shingo, June 15, 2010 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

nemesis2010, June 14 at 4:56 pm #

“Islamic nations do not stand a chance of becoming anything near a super-power because one does not become a superpower from ignorance.”

Well the US must be an exceptino to the rule, because Americans are among the most ignorant people on earth.

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By Marshall, June 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment

By nemesis2010, June 14 at 4:56 pm #

Odd that in the first two paragraphs you argue that unenlightened islam and superpower are mutually exclusive, then argue for Iran getting the bomb because enlightened US has it.  Can you say “fundamental contradiction”?

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By PatrickHenry, June 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

re:By Mundt, June 14 at 9:41 am #

Then why do they keep kissing up to NATO & the EU?

They are NATO and about 8000 U.S. military and their families are based there.  I lived there in 67’ & 68’ at Incirlik.

The U.S. needs to step up and reaffirm our military treaty with Turkey against Israel, which unbelievably, we don’t have one. 

The Turkish civilizaton goes back twice that of the Hebrews.

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/turkey.htm

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By nemesis2010, June 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Islamic nations do not stand a chance of becoming anything near a super-power because one does not become a superpower from ignorance. A nation has to grow out of ignorance into enlightenment and from enlightenment a nation can become a super-power provided there are a lot of other criteria met. Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, keeps a nation and people ignorant as the day is long. 

Illiteracy in Islamic nations—especially those of the Middle East—is so prevalent that it would require several generations of intense schooling before they can even catch up to the rest of the world, mush less rise to superpower status.

It’s amazing how terrified so many become thinking of an Islamic nation with one or two nuclear weapons while forgetting that the U.S. has enough nuclear weapons to render the planet uninhabitable for much of life. Talk about crying wolf!

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By nemesis2010, June 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

By John Ellis, June 13 at 11:24 pm

”World War Three, the battle of Armageddon, this will be the Jews and white Europeans against most all of the southern hemisphere.”

When it comes to the nuts and dolts about any issue, one is hard-pressed to find a bigger nut and dolt than John Ellis!

The so-called “Battle of Armageddon” is fiction, written by a Jew-hating Jew named John—or at least someone whose pen name was John—, more than a little crazy, and probably high on those hallucinogenic mushrooms that grow on the island of Patmos—if he was even on the island of Patmos.

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By iyisanslar, June 14, 2010 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I really enjoyed reading this article.

Of course, no one is able to accurately predict the future.  If most or even some of Mr. Feffer’s predictions come to pass, I think this would be good for the region.  I believe Turkey has been taken for granted, especially by the USA.  Turkey’s foreign policy has been overall good since their creation as it were.  Certainly, they are not idiots and have actually been quite clever diplomatically.  It has taken them decades to be where they are today and I hope they will not squander their goodwill and, recently, sympathy from most parts of the world.  I wish them well. 

The largest problem I have with Turkey is their relations with Armenia.  If they can acknowledge their relations with Armenia over the centuries, especially how they treated Armenia as the Ottoman Empire, they will go far indeed.  This is pure speculation, but I believe the reason why Turkey has a hard time acknowledging what they did to Armenia, as the Ottoman Empire, is perhaps because Turkey was not called Turkey during this event.  Still, this would very much improve Turkey’s already positive relations with most nations and its neighbors.  A nation may change its name, but not its history.

My only concern with a more assertive Turkey is that this may become the precursor to WW3.  I have a feeling that the world’s only superpower, the United States, is not happy with how Turkey is posturing itself right now.  If Turkey implements their future plans gradually, as they have done for decades, while the USA accepts the fact that they are going to become a shadow of its former self in the near future - all will be well I think.  The USA needs to do this as they simply no longer are able to afford being judge, jury, and executioner of the world.  The stakes are too high! By 2020, I believe the world will be a different place.  Not necessarily better, but certainly different.

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By RdV, June 14, 2010 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

The author suggests that Turkey emerges from the Ottoman empire—but prior to that, Constantinople was the center of the Byzantine Empire which started as the Eastern Rome ruling power—in fact taking over the reins from the Roman West- after the gradual fall of Rome in Italy - for another 1000 years.

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By RdV, June 14, 2010 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

It occupies a pivotal geographical position and even though it has been written out of our history-it was inevitable to arise again. It won’t be the first time the region hosted a power center.
We might not speak Turkish—but they speak English much more widely than you would think.

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By Mundt, June 14, 2010 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Then why do they keep kissing up to NATO & the EU?

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By omygodnotagain, June 14, 2010 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

Israel could learn something from the Turks, if they could step down from their delusions of grandeur and exceptionalism

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By PatrickHenry, June 14, 2010 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

The Turks have every right to be pissed off about Israel killing their citizens who were on a humanitarian mission. 

Its a travesty that the controlled media is trying to sweep it under the rug.

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By ofersince72, June 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

The criminality by the U.S and Isreali alliance doesn’t
seem to be able to be stopped from within.
I believe the citizens of this country tried their best
using the political process available to them, that is
exactly what the 2006 and 2008 elections were essentially
about. WE TRIED, all of us Americans, in both elections.
We literally trashed the majority party in power in order
to change America’s aggressive policies, which in turn
would have forced change on Isreal.
Our government flaunted our irrelevence in both the
2006 and the 2008 elections. At times , I have been guilty
myself at pointing my finger the wrong way just as I have
accussed others of. We all are frustrated, and I believe
all of us have proved we ARE willing to change our life-
styles in order to effect these changes.
It is our government that has failed us, not us them.
We may have been complicent at times, but from 2006, I
believe the majority of Amerians have done their part.
Where we go from here, I am puzzeled., the election
process we not bring the changes that we and the rest of
the world need and want, so it seems that exterior forces
are going to try to force them on our government.

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By Ed Harges, June 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

I think anything that dilutes the power of the USraeli empire is good. The US and
Israel are running crazy, and they need to meet some firm resistance.

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